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Ghiyāth al-Dīn Dashtakī on the world of image (ʿālam al-mithāl): The place of his Ishrāq Hayākil al-nūr in the commentary tradition on Suhrawardī

Lit, L.W. Cornelis van

Dawānī (d. 1502) wrote a commentary on Suhrawardī's Hayākil al-nūr. In it, the notion of the world of image is only mentioned a few times, but is never properly discussed, perhaps due to the fact that Suhrawardī himself does not mention anything of the like in his epistle. Dawāni's commentary was itself subject of another commentary, called Ishrāq Hayākil al-nūr, by Ghiyāth al-Dīn Dashtakī (d. 1542). We find embedded in this text an independent, twenty pages long epistle, dedicated to the subject of the world of image. In this paper, we shall examine this epistle in some detail. I shall start by explaining where the epistle is located in the super-commentary, and how it is embedded. Then I shall point out its source and discuss exactly how Dashtakī’s text depends on other texts. This is mainly achieved through a detailed analysis of one passage of the epistle. Afterwards, I shall discuss those parts of the text that are not to be found in the main source. Special attention will be given to those parts that seem to have flown from Dashtakī’s own pen. Finally, we will put this epistle in the context of his corpus of writings, and establish to what extent he himself seems to be committed to the idea of a world of image.

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